Which integrated amp would you pick?


Musical Fidelity M6 or Parasound Halo? Any thoughts would be very much appreciated. 
krelldog

Parasound Halo, genius John Curl design, which gets backed up with great review and bench test on Stereophile, also has a built in ESS Saber DAC if your into DSD.

http://www.stereophile.com/content/parasound-halo-integrated-integrated-amplifier#O5qjGC2YsA6VcgH8.97


Cheers George

krelldog - what speakers is the integrated going to drive? what is the source?
can't choose an integrated amp in a vaccuum.....
Currently the speakers are PSB B/25's....although I'm also upgrading these also. I'm looking for a mini monitor under 1500. I'm considering Martin Logan Motion 35XT's. The source is digital files on my laptop through a Musical Fidelity V-90 DAC. This is a second system that I tend to use the most. I'll probably upgrade the DAC down the road also. Although the Parasound Integrated is supposed to have a really good DAC. 

Like yourself, I use my second system the most.  I am running a Parasound Halo Integrated, Golden Ear Triton 2 speakers, Sony HAPZ1ES Media Server, Cambridge Audio CXC CD Transport (for those round shiny silver things), a Magnum Dynalab MD90 Tuner all plugged into s Shunyata outlets.  I use a Furutech TP-80  Conditioner  and a mishmash of 2 Shunyata Diamondback Platinum Power  Cords, some Pangea AC14 cords and a Furutech cord.  My speaker cables and interconnects are Groneberg Quattro Reference, Digital cable is a Wireworld Starlight 7.

I get a truly wonderful and satisfying sound on this system which is about 75% cheaper than my main system.  Previously to using the Halo Integrated, I was using a Rogue Cronus Magnum Integrated.  Although I am truly a tube guy, I like the Halo Way better.  The built in dac is excellent as I run the CD transport through it.  I am extremely satisfied with the Parasound Halo, and I absolutely LOVE having Bass and Treble controls.  It really helps those unplayable cd's become enjoyable.

I have no experience with the Musical Fidelity amp, but the dac in the Parasound Halo is light years better than the Musical Fidelity V-90 dac.

Neither one.

@georgelofi
Please stop advertising Parasound Halo.
Mediocre Integrated amplifier
I know you directed this at georgelofi, but I had to chime in.  No one is advertising Parasound, just stating facts and opinions.  Just because you do not care for them does not mean they aren't any good..  Yes, there are a lot of integrateds, but personally I wouldn't touch Class D with a ten foot pole and I have already had tube integrateds.  I prefer the JC designed solid state Parasound.
I don't know which Musical Fidelity you are speaking of. There is an M6500i and a M6si. Perhaps there was an M6 before this???
I have heard the M6500i. It is a dual mono design and it sounds truly amazing for an integrated amp. It will sound better than many mono amps paired with a preamp.
I have the Parasound A21 HALO amp and P3 preamp, which should not be that different than the new HALO integrated. This combo is as good as the MF, I think. I would listen to both the MF and the Parasound for comparison using your own ears.

Of course the speakers you will use should make a difference, but both amps have ample power. I would give the edge to the M6500i.
topten

Neither one.
@georgelofi
Please stop advertising Parasound Halo.
Mediocre Integrated amplifier

+1 stereo5

Topten, who are you to tell me what to post! "Misguided self proclaimed forum cop"?

The OP asked about the Intergrated Parasound Halo, and I gave him the facts and a link to read about it’s subjective reviewed sound and measurements in Stereophile to back them up!

Cheers George

I have not heard the M6 but have owned the A3.2, A308, KW500, and NuVista 800. I really liked all of them. The KW500 was fantastic (still have it for when I put my second system in place). The NuVista 800 is truly world class in my opinion. However, I have not heard a Parasound amp for several years now--I did like it though I can't recall which model. I agree with 2psyop. Listen for yourself.  When I started out, I spent countless hours listening to LOTS of gear at several excellent local HiFi shops. I identified a sound that appealed to me and have built on that sound, following the mantra of "same but better," as I have changed gear. It has served me well. I love my system. If you have questions about MuFi, contact Randy Bingham (in charge of US sales). He is very helpful, knowledgeable, and a nice guy.
@2psyop - are you saying that that $3500 of Parasound (A 21 and P3) separates are as good at the $7,000 M6500i? That would certainly swing my thinking towards Parasound, although I haven’t heard the Halo Integrated. Just curious, as I’m in the market for an integrated but am also considering looking at separates.

Thanks, Scott
Thanks everyone for their input...and yes I specifically asked about the Parasound  Halo. Thanks George and stereo 5 for your experience with this integrated.
Neither!I would go with an all tube integrated like the PrimaLuna Dialogue!
topten
    O.K. I’ve tried Parasound Halo Int. and I really can’t justify the price of 2.5K. Of course, Parasound is an excellent amplifier but I really don’t need that power and extra features.


    What’s bit you since Jan 2016 that has made you a Parasound Int. Halo hater?

    BTW: you can get them in the US for just under $2k if you shop around. In Australia they’re over $4k


    Cheers George


    I have a HINT in a third system and it's a great swiss army knife of an integrated.  If you can use all that it packs, $2,500 (new) is a relative bargain.

    I have just converted to tubes recently in my main system, though, and would have to agree with freediver that a PrimaLuna would be a great option.  Every now and then a a nice used/demo unit pops up here on A'gon but they move pretty fast so gotta keep your eyes open.
    George- Where can I get one under 2K ? Please share...

    I’m sure if your a good haggler at $2.5k rrp you can get them down, as many places sell Parasound in the US, in Australia no one pays rrp for anything but you have to haggle for it, isn’t it the same in the US?

    And there’s always used, this one was mint and boxed.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Parasound-Halo-Integrated-2-1-Amplifier-And-DAC-/122028513819?hash=item1c69775a1b%3Ag%3AwwkAAOSwGIRXcV3d&nma=true&si=ph3vIqnZtW%252Bz6wdpAIVab%252BCAJoI%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

    And if you still have the hard to drive Martin Logan Accents, then this is the integrated for you.

    As ML esl's can dip down to 1ohm, and the Parasound having good current delivery because it uses bi-polar (BJT) output devices and has decent power supply will not mind this load.

    Cheers George


    This one went for $1700, gota be quick.

    https://www.audiogon.com/listings/solid-state-parasound-halo-integrated-2-1-ch-int-dac-2016-05-05-integrateds-85207-mesa-az

    Cheers George

    Perhaps settle on your new speakers then decide? But both are great options although I think Para is a lot cheaper. If you can spend a lot more than that perhaps look at a few other options as well such as Hegel, red wine, Yamaha and Regs - just to be sure you find what you like best. Keep us posted and enjoy the search. 
    I bought my Parasound Halo new in silver in January of this year from a dealer in Chicopee, Mass.  He was a Home Theater dealer who ordered it for me and I paid 2100.00 for it.
    stereo5.....thanks for the Chicopee tip.
    Krelldog,

    Many here are correct. Many dealers will DEAL. Don’t ever accept advertised prices as many will go much lower. I think I bought my A21 and P3 for well under $600 the asking price for the combo. Amazingly, the legitimate dealer was on Ebay! But you must be very cautious on that site. I checked with Parasound directly to see if the dealer was one of theirs, for warranty purposes. Good luck. As a side note, I think Parasound makes very good gear for the money. As I have said I think John Curl is a legendary engineer. As such the HALO gear is very well designed.
    I would be very surprised if you opted for the integrated by Parasound and did not think it measured up. But on the flip side of the coin, not everyone enjoys the same kind of equipment. I have a Line Magnetic Audio 216 integrated tube amp. Some have stated they do not like it at all, I think it's superb.
    Own a Parasound A51 halo! Not integrated but a 5 channel amp that if you research , Parasound is well worth the money ! I have 5000.00 in the A51! Next amp ive found to out perform was a 10000.00 ring! Not advertising for Parasound ! Just stating fact!
    Hegel H360. End of the search.
    Audio Advisor is a strong outlet for Parasound factory refurbs. http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=PAHAINT&variation=SIL&gclid=Cj0KEQjwnv27BRCm...

    I also really like the (recently discontinued?) Anthem Integrated 225   http://www.anthemav.com/products-current/model=i225/page=overview
    Halo all the way. Many of us will agree that we don't need that much current, but it's nice to have that kind of power on tap when we ask for it. Currently driving the LS50s. The wife gives a dirty look every time I reach a quarter of that volume knob.
    @Also bought mine at Safe & Sound in Chicopee, MA. Mike and Dave were a pleasure to deal with.
    I couldn't remember the name of the store, but Mike and Dave were indeed a pleasure to deal with.  I also paid 2,200.00 for it, not 2,100.00 for it as I first stated.  I looked up the receipt to be sure.  It was the drive back to RI that made me decide to buy a new car.  I had a 09 Civic SI with the 6 speed manual and I was in a traffic jam on the Mass Pike 3 times!  Seems they were down to 1 lane on the bridges.  My leg was killing me from the stop & go traffic and  constantly using the clutch.  By the time I got home, it felt like my leg would fall off.  I bought a new car the very next day.
    Musical Fidelity for hifi and Parasound for home theater.. got the point ?

    There are actually many so-called hi end (unreasonable expensive)amps that doesn't even come close to what Musical Fidelity or even QUAD could produce, sonically..

    M6 is a good choice. And if cost is no object, try Naim or Sugden Masterclass amps and see what you've been missing. 


    Listen to the music, not the name..
    Try the new Rotel 1592 intergrated amp 200 watts per channel
    I've owned the Parasound P5 and A23 separates.  They sound pretty decent.  I'm glad the P5 has bass and treble controls.  My speakers need a bit of EQ-ing.  I'd boost the bass up a bit and the treble down a bit.

    I don't know about the Musical Fidelity stuff; I've never heard any.

    Saying that...I used to have a Modwright KWI 200 integrated and a pair of Legacy Focus SE speakers.  It was an incredible system!  The KWI 200 has a huge amount of capacitance to handle the peaks.  It was a wonderfully smooth-sounding integrated.  Not harsh, not muddy.  I'd play it really loud and it would still sound nice and clear.  Bass would shake the room.
    Primaluna hands down. From entry level through the Dialogue HP 



    Have you looked into the Ayre units?   That would be my choice
    I have the Anthem 225i. I went to it from a Sonic Frontier pre and Monarchy mono-blocks.

    It's a no frills unit but sounds good to me, plenty of power for anything I need to drive. I like the simplicity.
    The Hegel suggested earlier is twice the price of the two ther units, but the Hegel H80 fits right in, at $2000, or the H160 at $3500. Those are killer, will beat both MF and Parasound easily, and come with a great DAC (and the H160, a streamer too).



    Disclaimer: dealer in San Diego, CA (http://almaaudio.com)

    You can get a b stock Parasound P5 and b stock A21 for around $3k from the dealers mentioned in this thread.  Which I think would be a lot better than their integrated amp.  But i wonder why there are so many b stock parasound units for sale?
    Typically a lot of this stuff is A stock.  The dealer is not allowed to officially discount many of these brands, so by calling it B stock and saying it may be a demo(like there are 50 units of demos on Audio Advisor) or a return or the cardboard box got dinged up, or some other excuse, they are then allowed to sell brand new stuff at a discount.

    I bought a Nad integrated that was listed as a "display" model, and it turned out to be BNIB.
    Krell Vangaurd...Krelldog!  True high end sound...deals are available if you look around:)
    The halo is really nice sounding- could not find anything wrong that it did.  also class A stereophile.  sounds much better than a hegel h160 IMHO.  
    What's your moniker?  What dave_b said.  Good luck!  Regards.......

    MF6 is discontinued. There is an M6si, which I’ve owned (purchased new) since December 2015. I highly recommend it. At the time and point of purchase I compared it to Krell Vanguard and McIntosh MA6700, both considerably more expensive. Realistically the Musical Fidelity is right on par with those integrated amps and for considerably less money too. To those who have indicated the DAC in the MF is somehow lacking, I disagree and consider the DAC more than adequate for audiophile grade performance. The aformentioned stated, I have no experience with the Parasound.
    Krelldog,

    What did you get?
    Post removed 
    Halo is overrated, IMHO. And yes; I've read all the reviews, but in my system,in my room, I was very much underwhelmed. I've just finished a search for a new SS integrated and ended up with  Wells Audio Majestic. At $3600, it may exceed your budget, but in terms of musicality, to my ears, the Wells is far superior. Just thought I'd
    mention it as Wells seems to be relatively unknown or at least,
    rarely mentioned, in these forums. 
    in this range a raven audio blackhawk or rogue cronus magnum ii with tube upgrades sounds much more transparent and dimensional than the halo.

    Not sure what it runs, but the Belles Aria is pretty special, I haven't heard this Model Musical Fidelity, but i've heard other MF,   I'm sure its a quality piece and the Parasound is well done also. I haven't heard them on anywhere near the same type of equipment to compare, but I would not buy either without taking a look at a couple of the Belles,  The Soloist 1 and the Aria.

    Good Luck, Tim

    David Belles has a great reputation, and of course he has been in business for a long time. I was going to look in to the Aria myself, but I may opt for the Heed Obelisk over the Belles. As much as I hate to say it, there is just so little press on Belles. I already got in to, and out of a 2nd system fairly recently. So resale is important to me. That said, I have no problem believing the Aria is a winner. I believe it is around 2K US.

    There is more press on the Heed than the Belles?  I've read 2 reviews on the Heed Integrated,  1 says that it is 35 watts and the other says that it is 40 watts,  the Heed website says that it is 50 watts and I can't find any 4 ohm ratings... 1 review says that it is a the bass is a bit shy and it is edgy at the extreme frequencies. The Obelisk Si is not DC coupled.  I haven't heard it, so I can't comment there,  It may be everything needed,  but I can tell you that the Belles is a joy. 
    timlub- Take a look. Plenty of reviews. I think the discrepancy in power is because the last iteration of the Obelisk (mk.2) had an optional outboard PS. With the PS, the power rating was 10-15 watts higher. Glad you are enjoying the Belles.

    Try both with your own ears ( not the press ) and perhaps you won't have to worry about resale.  I had a Soloist 1 and really enjoyed it.  Only reason I sold it was because I sold the Vandersteen 2s that went with it....too big for my room.  I'd like to get some Vandy 1s and the Belles Aria will be one integrated that I'll strongly consider.  Good luck!  Regards.......

    I have Coda at the moment, I don't own the Belles.  The outboard power supply does make sense.